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Amazon to pay employees to quit and start their own delivery businesses

14 May 2019

Amazon, which is racing to deliver packages faster, is turning to its employees with a proposition: Quit your job and we'll help you start a business delivering Amazon packages.

The company on Monday said it's now expanding this program, called Delivery Service Partner, to get its own employees to join.

Amazon said it will cover up to $10,000 in startup costs for employees who are accepted into the program and leave their jobs.

So Amazon announced it will now give employees up to $10,000 of the start-up money they will need, along with three months of their existing Amazon pay, as a way of getting the capital they need to get into the service.

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Amazon has been trying to gear up an independent delivery service to handle packages now going to companies such as UPS and FedEx as well as the Postal Service.

The news coincides with a push by the company to shift its core Amazon Prime delivery benefit to free one-day shipping, from its longtime benefit of free two-day shipping.

The offer is part of Amazon's Delivery Service Partner program, which it launched in June 2018. Amazon said it plans to add "hundreds more" new businesses in 2019, and has expanded the partnership offering to the United Kingdom and Spain.

The offer is up open most part-time and full-time Amazon employees, including warehouse workers who already pack and ship order.

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That's where the new financial incentives for employees come into play. A delivery fleet owner with 20 to 40 of the vans can potentially earn $300,000 a year, Amazon says.

The expansion is part of the company's plan to gain more control over its deliveries rather than rely on UPS, the post office and other carriers.

Amazon doesn't just want the former employee to drive a van, the company envisions each delivery partner growing to run multiple vans and employing lots of drivers. Amazon prepays up to 95 percent of their tuition for in-demand fields regardless of whether the employee's new career is relevant to Amazon's interests.

Last month, Amazon said it expected to spend $800 million this quarter on shortening delivery times to a single day for Prime buyers, with shoppers in North America expected to be the first to benefit.

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Milton Collier heads one of the delivery services. Since then, it has grown to include 50 vehicles and about 120 employees.

Amazon to pay employees to quit and start their own delivery businesses